The Flux Manifesto
Making atoms as malleable as bits
Humans are toolmakers. We can’t run faster than a cheetah, jump higher than a kangaroo, or outfly a falcon, but we have invented tools that allow us to do all of those things and much, much more: unlock the energy hidden in atomic nuclei, instantly communicate across the globe, send robot emissaries beyond the Solar System, cure disease, and make super cool memes.
It all starts with curiosity. You notice something interesting and want to know how it works. You encounter a problem and wonder why a solution isn’t available. So you act. You investigate. You experiment. You build. You follow one question to the next until you decipher the puzzle, realize the idea, solve the problem. And every once in a while, whether you intended it or not, other people adopt your solution to solve their own problems, and your invention becomes a tool in the vast and admittedly messy shed known as modern civilization.
Of course, some things are harder to invent than others. It used to be insanely difficult to write software, but people created programming languages at progressively higher levels of abstraction, connected the internet, offered remote server capacity for rent, and shared code in vast repositories. Now, a teenager can make an app or website in a few hours. Software’s pliability has enabled everything from Wikipedia to AI. If you’re working with bits, anything is possible.
Unlike software, building hardware is still insanely difficult. If you’re working with atoms, the costs are high, the risks are significant, and the timelines are long. The journey from idea to product requires managing intricate supply chains, complex manufacturing processes, and multiple stakeholders. Worse yet, the current toolset for hardware engineers is inadequate, outdated, and frustrating to work with. Creating hardware is a lonely, uphill battle fraught with uncertainty and busywork. It’s not just that engineers must overcome unnecessary friction, it’s that tragically few people have the expertise and resources required to build hardware. The world is teeming with unrealized dreams.
Taking the hard out of hardware
We founded Flux to make atoms as malleable as bits. We want to take the hard out of hardware, to make it as easy for a teenager to build an iPhone as a website. We want to unleash the latent human potential held back by the high barriers to creating breakthrough physical products. We want to accelerate technological progress by making it possible for anyone, regardless of background or resources, to bring their best ideas to life in physical form.
Look around. What do you see? Maybe a pair of headphones. Maybe your fridge or printer or baby monitor or tv. Almost certainly your phone is within arm’s reach. Guess what? All of those things are computers. There are chips embedded in your car and your dishwasher and your door locks. Today, everything is electronics, and those electronics give objects cognition. But designing a product’s electronic components is often the most complicated part of making that product. That’s why we’re starting with electronics design.
Casting off legacy tools and assumptions, Flux empowers you to design electronics the way you always wished you could. Because Flux lives in the browser, you can collaborate seamlessly with friends and colleagues, managing permissions and soliciting asynchronous reviews. You can contribute to, leverage, and fork a library of reusable components, projects, and templates so you don’t have to start from scratch every time. You can check realtime pricing and availability from all major parts suppliers and test your designs as you go with an integrated simulator. And you can accelerate every part of the process with Flux Copilot, using AI to brainstorm ideas, troubleshoot bugs, reference datasheets, wire-up schematics, and eliminate tedious busywork so you can focus on solving juicy creative problems, limited only by your imagination.
Shape the physical world
With Flux, a single person with an idea can do in a few hours what it would typically take an entire team of experts weeks to accomplish. Whether you’re a hobbyist, researcher, educator, entrepreneur, or iPhone engineer, that’s a big deal. But electrical engineering is just the beginning. Hardware needs a full-stack toolset, and we’re going to build it—from mechanical design and firmware to manufacturing and distribution. Ultimately, you will be able to use Flux to design, manufacture, and sell anything you want to make.
That matters because anyone who’s played with Legos knows the intrinsic joy of building things. That matters because the world’s biggest challenges—climate, health, poverty, etc.—require innovative hardware to be part of the solution. That matters because anyone should be able to invent new hardware, not just teams of experts with billion-dollar budgets. That matters because humans are toolmakers, and Flux is a tool for making better tools—everything from reforestation-monitoring satellites and medical prosthetics to water-quality sensors and toys for your nieces and nephews.
Software may be eating the world, but the world itself is hardware, and we won’t stop until you can shape the physical as easily as the digital. This future of material abundance is not some naive utopia. There will be endless problems. Problems are inevitable. But you will be able to prototype, iterate, and scale hardware solutions much, much faster. Some of those solutions will catch on, and your descendants will inherit better tools with which to tackle their own problems.
That’s what we’re seeking to do here at Flux, but we can’t do it alone.
We need you
We need the weirdos and the rebels and the nerds. We need the leaders and the builders, the teachers and the tinkerers, the poets and the healers. We need those who see obstacles as opportunities for growth, who are as bold as they are generous, as resourceful as they are visionary, as kind as they are smart.
Together, we can make things we’re proud of for people we care about. We can amplify human creativity. We can contribute to the amazing innovations that tomorrow’s kids will take for granted. We can build the future dream by dream, prototype by prototype, tool by tool.
Let’s get to work.